Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price, DeFi, and Ransomware

This week Brexit finally happened, CoronaVirus spread, and the US offered oil to Belarus when Russian negotiations failed. But perhaps the most important question on the world’s lips followed singer Dua Lipa’s visit to a strip club after the Grammy’s event. Can a feminist visit a strip club?… and does it make a difference if she pays in bitcoin?

Bitcoin Price: What A Difference A Week Makes

After the ‘Meh…’ of last week, this week saw bitcoin price gain a grand and make it look easy.

There was no rollercoaster; no huge green candles pushing to the sky only to have gains all-but obliterated in the next hour. Just a steady tempered climb throughout the week; a technique which one would argue works rather well.

Momentum seems to be building towards a traditionally bullish February. This should compound on gains already made in the usually quiet January, when Bitcoin (and Tesla) added 32%. Another 11 months with similar gains would see BTC hit $152k by the end of 2020.

Gains were led by an inflow of $17 billion into the cryptocurrency market in just 48 hours. By midweek, we were seeing three-months highs and discussing $10k again.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee confirmed (for what seems like the umpteenth time) that bitcoin is entering a bull market again. And analysts gave the (slightly less exciting) prediction of $28k in the next six months.

Price peaked in Friday at around $9,500 although has levelled of at around $9,300 since then.

Decentralized Finance

Crypto-lending has been crowned the industry’s most profitable sector after explosive growth in numbers over the past couple of years. Although Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin admitted he still cringes when he hears the misuse of the term ‘loan’.

So with decentralized finance (DeFi) booming hard, when would the ETH price rally to reflect this?

Well, it did a fairly decent job this week. Analyst had their eyes on a target of $180, which ETH blasted straight through. At time of press the price of one Ether is over $190, also helped by news that energy giant BP is sponsoring next month’s ETHDenver event.

Bitcoin Ransomware Resurgence

A report suggested that over half of all public and private organizations in the US had fallen victim to ransomware in 2019.

This week it was the turn of a California school district, which had servers and a phone system shut down by ransomware attackers demanding bitcoin.

A Senator in Maryland introduced a bill to make possession of ransomware illegal other than for security research purposes.

New York State Senators have meanwhile been drafting bills to outlaw the payment of ransomware attackers with tax-payers money.

News In Brief

The second iteration of the Bitcoin Lightning Torch has had quite an unfortunate first week, being stolen 4 times already. Torch bearers were left holding the bill, and must adapt their trust model, if the effort is to succeed like last year.

After quite literally removing his skin from the game when it comes to Bitcoin predictions, John McAfee has turned his attention to bashing his former muse. This week he labelled BTC the ‘true shitcoin’ while claiming the future of crypto lies with (unspecified) altcoins.

French football team, Paris Saint Germain, hit the crypto headlines twice this week. Firstly announcing a partnership with the CoinCasso exchange, and then when its fan-tokens finally went on sale.

The Bitcoin Cash network stopped producing blocks for over five hours this week, and without creating a significant transaction backlog.

Could Google be following Facebook on a path towards crypto? This week we found that the company had taken on an ex-Ripple employee to help revamp its Chrome payments system.

Facebook itself seemed to be taking a step backwards, as reports suggested that crypto-related links were being censored again in its Messenger app.

Cambodia is the latest nation to move towards launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), despite the fact that cryptocurrency is illegal in the country. Lithuania has also been considering the practicalities of launching a CBDC this week.

And Finally…

Tron Supremo Justin Sun certainly had his (shilling) hat on this week… or was he just genuinely paying tribute to a basketball legend who had tragically died?

Nobody could be quite sure, but there were plenty who assumed he was using Kobe Bryant’s death as an opportunity to shill this year’s upcoming niTROn conference.

To be fair to Sun, Bryant had attended 2019’s niTROn event, discussing the future of blockchain on stage with Sun himself.

But by now, Justin is so far down the ‘shilling’ rabbit hole, that it is questionable whether anyone can discern when he is being genuine. Even him.

What was your favorite story this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

The Rundown

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